Have you ever wondered what it would take to schedule an email to send later in Gmail? The idea is simple enough: instead of clicking the “send” button and having your message delivered instantly to your recipient, you’ll choose exactly when your recipient should receive the message.
But is this feature available in Gmail?
Yes, as of April 2019, it sure is.
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How to Schedule an Email to Send Later in Gmail
So, how can you schedule an email to send later in Gmail?
In April 2019, Gmail rolled out an email scheduling feature detailed in this blog post. It makes scheduling emails to send later in Gmail dead simple. On the desktop version, simply compose your email, click the drop-down arrow on the “send” button, then select “Schedule send.” Select the time for the email to send (or enter a custom date & time) and you’ll see a confirmation pop-up indicating that the message is scheduled to be sent. Here’s a gif from that same blog post that illustrates the process in about 10 seconds:
(Image source: Google)
On the mobile app, the feature works slightly differently. Instead of clicking on the Send icon, you’ll click the three-dots icon to the right of it, then tap on “Schedule Send.” A pop-up will appear that enables you to select the date and time for the message to send.
You can edit the scheduled send time & date whether you’re using the desktop or mobile app, and you can still un-send an email that’s been sent using the scheduler, but only for a maximum of 30 seconds after it’s been sent. See our guide on how to unsend an email in Gmail for a complete walkthrough on that feature.
Tools to Schedule Emails to Send Later in Gmail
Since the ability to schedule emails to send later in Gmail was not native to Gmail until just recently, a number of third-party apps also exist that offer this functionality. Luckily, Google not only allows, but encourages developers and entrepreneurs to create apps, add-ons, and general tools to make Gmail even better—we covered 61 of our favorite Gmail tools in this post.
There are actually a dozen or more tools you can use to schedule an email to send later, automatically, in Gmail, but these are a few of our favorites:
Boomerang offers a suite of features designed to automate basic functions in Gmail. For starters, you’ll be able to use it to send an email at a specific date and time in the future. You can also set automatic reminders for yourself, and delay incoming emails, so you can take more control over when and how you read those messages.
There’s also Right Inbox. Its main purpose is to improve your email productivity, so it comes with features like scheduling emails for specific dates and times in the future, creating reminders for yourself, and creating task lists that you can manage within the platform.
At the top of the message window, right below the subject line, you’ll find a variety of features designed to soup-up your conversational skills. Switch signatures, insert a templated message, set up an email sequence, or add a GIF at the click of a button.
Below the message window are all your scheduling options, plus many features that allow you to sync with your preferred CRM platform, add private notes to your messages, and set up reminders.
Not named for an ancient Greek email philosopher, Gmelius is a tool designed for salespeople, but can be used by almost anyone. With it, you can track which of your emails have been read and which of your links have been clicked. And of course, you can schedule emails to send in advance, choosing the specific send time and date.
SndLatr is an aptly named Chrome add-on by Top Inbox, which allows you to—surprise—send emails later, at the time and date of your choosing. You can also use it to create automatic reminders for yourself, and see which of your emails are opened.
These are a just a few tools that enable users to schedule an email to send later in Gmail. But with the recent native addition of this functionality directly within Gmail, you’ll probably look to use these tools for their other purposes.
Why Schedule an Email to Send Later in Gmail?
So, why would you want to schedule an email to send later in Gmail in the first place? After all, one of the productive advantages of email is getting to send and receive messages instantaneously.
There are some scenarios, however, where scheduling an email is advantageous:
- Catching attention at the right time. This one is ideal for email-focused salespeople. Your target demographics are probably more likely to read and open an email on a certain day of the week, or a certain time of day, like 10:30 am Wednesday morning. That timeslot may not be convenient for you to draft a new email, so scheduling the email in advance can help you hit that ideal timeslot no matter what.
- Implying alternate working hours. Though ethically questionable in some cases, you could use email scheduling to imply that you’re working different hours than you really are. For example, you might schedule an email to send at 7 am if you want to seem like an early riser.
- Spreading out responses. Nobody likes to be bombarded with email, but there are times during your career when you’ll only have a fixed amount of time to send messages. The ordinary outcome here might be sending all your messages for the day within the span of half an hour, overwhelming your recipients and resulting in a cascade of responses in kind. Scheduling allows you to spread those responses out, reducing the burden for both you and your recipients.
- Buying yourself time. If you’re in a tight spot with a client, scheduling an email can also be a useful way to buy yourself time. For example, if a client brings up a concern about an upcoming deadline, you could schedule an email for an hour in the future saying you’re “looking into it.” During that hour, you can uncover as much information as possible, so you can follow up with that response with a much more informed vision of what’s going on. You can also use this technique if you’re writing an email in a heightened emotional state, so you can cool off and readdress what you’ve written later.
If you’re looking to take your Gmail game to the next level, you should also consider integrating EmailAnalytics. It’s an analytics tool for Gmail that measures your incoming and outgoing emails, your email drafting habits, and even your busiest days and times. Sign up for a free trial today, and start learning how you can improve your approach to email.
Jayson is a long-time columnist for Forbes, Entrepreneur, BusinessInsider, Inc.com, and various other major media publications, where he has authored over 1,000 articles since 2012, covering technology, marketing, and entrepreneurship. He keynoted the 2013 MarketingProfs University, and won the “Entrepreneur Blogger of the Year” award in 2015 from the Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs. In 2010, he founded a marketing agency that appeared on the Inc. 5000 before selling it in January of 2019, and he is now the CEO of EmailAnalytics, and co-host of the podcast The Entrepreneur Cast.